Outfieldology

Felix Pie is on the right side of the bubble, for now.



Channeling Joe Lunardi, here's my latest predictions as who makes the Indians' Opening Day outfield.

Last Four In:

1. Shin-Soo Choo (LOCK)

2. Michael Brantley (LOCK)

3. Aaron Cunningham

4. Felix Pie

The first two aren't controversial. Although Cunningham probably won't be starting, he has a better shot right now than Pie because (1) he's out of options, so he either makes the club or has to go through waivers, and (2) he's right-handed. I went with Pie because he has some upside, is still fairly young, and has played both left and center field.

First Four Out:

1. Shelley Duncan

2. Fred Lewis

3. Russ Canzler

4. Ryan Spilborghs

The good news for Duncan is that he could still make club if Jack Hannahan beats out Lonnie Chisenhall at third. Lewis I think is the main competition for Pie as the everyday left fielder, given Manny Acta's criteria for the job:

Said manager Manny Acta, "We're looking for a guy who can play left field every day, or at least contribute in a platoon, until Grady comes back. We're not looking for versatility. We're looking for someone who can hold down the fort."

So Lewis, who's really just a left fielder but one of the better hitters of the group, fits the profile. Russ Canzler probably has a better shot at making the club as a first baseman/outfielder than as an everyday outfielder. Spilborghs is more of a fourth outfielder.

Next Four Out

1. Thomas Neal

2. Ezequiel Carrera

3. Chad Huffman

4. Matt LaPorta

It's to Chris Antonetti's credit that the outfield depth is such that these four have almost no shot of making the Opening Day roster. All four of these players will be going to AAA in a couple weeks. I stuck Matt LaPorta in here because the Indians have toyed with him playing left field, but that isn't going to happen, especially with his swing still needing work. Trevor Crowe is also in camp, but now that he's off the 40-man roster, I don't see any possibility that he makes the majors this season, never mind the Opening Day roster.

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